College of the Redwoods

Four more St. Bernard’s players commit to play at the collegiate level

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – From left to right, Jamarious January, head coach Matt Tomlin, Grant Omey and Tucker Rice at Tuesday’s letter signing ceremony.

By Ray Hamill — The Crusaders continue to succeed on and off the football field.

For the second straight year, St. Bernard’s is sending four players on to play college football, with all four of them on hand on Tuesday at a special letter signing ceremony at the school.

Seniors Tucker Rice, Grant Omey, Jamarious January and Drew Sisemore, each of whom had a major impact for their high school team, all will continue their playing careers at the collegiate level.

January will stay close to home and play for College of the Redwoods, while Rice will join his older brother Maximus at Colorado Mesa, Sismore will take his talents to the University of Redlands in SoCal, and Omey will follow in his father’s footsteps and attend West Point, where he will play for the Army Sprint Team.

Omey was a four-year starter for the Crusaders at outside linebacker and running back and is the last remaining player from the state championship winning team of 2019.

He started the state championship game as a freshman and grew into one of the undisputed leaders on the team.

“He is one of the most competitive kids I’ve ever had the chance to coach,” head coach Matt Tomlin told the gathering of friends, family and teammates at Tuesday’s ceremony. “He’s also an amazing student athlete and an amazing member of the community, and we’re all so excited for him and where he’s headed to in the future.”

Omey said his decision had a lot to do with his family’s history in the military and he will follow his father Luke, who graduated from West Point in 1995, and his older sister Olivia, who will graduate there this year.

Grant Omey will play for the Army Football Sprint Team, which is sort of like a JV program with a maximum weight of 178 pounds for players.

After deciding he wanted to attend West Point, Omey then found out about the sprint team and talked to the head coach, who expressed interest in bringing him on board.

“Hopefully, I can get a starting spot and can contribute to beating Navy,” said Omey, who will play outside linebacker for his new team.

Jamarious January

January, meanwhile, wanted to stay local and felt that a resurgent Redwoods team would be the perfect fit to help prepare him for an eventual four-year program.

The SB senior will play defensive line for the Corsairs and Tomlin is excited for him and the opportunity he will have to continue to develop under CR defensive coordinator Damaro Wheeler.

“He’s just a terrific young man,” the St. Bernard’s coach said. “And he has the best smile you’ve ever seen in your life. It’s amazing the growth we’ve seen in him in our football program and on our campus as a student.”

Rice, the youngest of five brothers to play football, will join his older brother Maximus at Colorado Mesa after receiving a scholarship to play for the Mavericks.

Both brothers could end up playing alongside each other on the offensive line.

Grant Omey

“It was just an honor to get to coach Tucker this year,” Tomlin said of the senior center, who transferred from Arcata High for his final high school season. “What a tremendous leader he was. Probably the best center I’ve ever seen play around here. He could have played anywhere he wanted. I couldn’t be more proud of him and what he’s accomplished.”

Rice will also play alongside former St. Bernard’s receiver Micha Fontenot-Cornely, who has transferred to Colorado Mesa after stints at CR and Santa Rosa JC, giving the Mavericks three former SB players on their roster.

“I think it will be a really good environment,” said Tucker Rice, who intends to major in civil engineering. “I can see the potential, and I think it’s going to be fun (playing with Maximus).”

Siemore also was on hand at Tuesday’s ceremony, but choose not to speak in front of the gathering.

Tucker Rice

He will, however, take his talents to Division-III Redlands after two outstanding seasons playing quarterback for the Crusaders.

His leadership in particular will be difficult to replace.

“Drew was the ultimate team leader,” Tomlin said. “He led our team in the classroom, the weight room and on the field. He was our team MVP.”

The three players who did speak to the gathering all thanked their coaches, teammates and family for all their support over the years, as well as the St. Bernard’s community and staff.

And while they are all looking forward to the new chapter in their lives, each said they will remember the good times and friends they enjoyed during their high school careers.

Drew Sisemore in action for the Crusaders last season.

“I’m going to remember all the memories I had with my teammates, all the funny times,” said January. “And I’m going to miss my teammates and the school very much.”

Omey echoed the sentiment. 

“There’s so much to remember,” he said. “I’ll remember 2019, the year we won state, and playing with my brother (Will, who was the starting QB on that team). And coach Tomlin is unforgettable, he’s been a big influence.”

The four seniors will follow in the footsteps of 2022 St. Bernard’s graduates Demetrius Rawson, DeShaun Bailey, Perry Bailey and Dominic Kofi, each of whom took their talents from St. Bernard’s to the collegiate fields.

1 reply »

  1. Surprised to hear there is a nine team league thats called a Sprint league. Football for all players 178lbs or less? is very interesting. There are many small stature young boys that can now reach their dreams of playing football after high school. I wish there were more schools taking this on. Wonder if there is a basketball league with a height cap of under 5° 8″ “sort of like a JV “? I would have been a star!

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